02 Aug KeeKee Lennay
Keekee Lennay is a Detroit Michigan native currently living in Raleigh NC. Her passions include dance, laughing until her stomach hurts, and good music. She is an advocate for women, especially women of color, and one if her strengths is helping them recognize their worth. She is a health coach whose goal is to help you design the nutrition plan that fits your needs and show you healthy living can be on your terms. Her desires include making an impact in her community and earning a living while doing it. Good food, Chicago stepping, and genuine hugs are the ways to her heart.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur? What motivates you to stay an entrepreneur?
I was in a toxic relationship and when he left so did his income. I needed to make some extra cash to make ends meet but didnt have time clock into another job. I started a side hustle and made an extra $50. This may seem very small to some people but to me it covered my bus pass for the month and that was life changing. I was already unhappy at my job but being that school wasnt my favorite and I thought I lacked skills that would help me move up a corporate ladder, I started taking my side hustle a littler more serious—-oh and being fired would put a fire under your belt too. Being an entrepreneur gave me this freeing feeling I had never felt before. I went home most nights exhausted but fulfilled and I vowed I would do this entrepreneur thing UNTIL….(resolve).
Never wanting to let this freeing and fulfilled feeling go is the reason I stay an entrepreneur. It tough ish, hard work, and aint for everybody (yes I know how grammatically incorrect that is, but you catch my drift lol) BUT when you can design your life using your own tools its the most rewarding thing in the world. I have complete control over whether my bills get paid on time, whether I eat, whether I have clothes on my back and whether I have fun and ball out on a Friday night. I dictate my bank account and for that reason I will always primarily work for myself.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made as an entrepreneur?
The biggest mistake I have ever made as an entrepreneur was believe I didnt have what it took to become one. I thought that because I wasnt popular or have a huge social media following I didnt have what it took. I had this limiting belief that I wasnt enough. While there many other mistakes that I could probably write a book on, I would have to say that was the biggest.
What advice would you give your previous boss?
I honestly didnt have many issues with my bosses at work. The things I would get in “trouble” for made sense. I started to drift away from my job so my performance and production became low which doesnt and shouldnt fly. Most of the people who worked with me had no desire to be further than they were so my “oddball”-ness threw them off. My “want for more” made them a little uncomfortable. My reason for being fired was justifiable (no reading personal development books while at your work station was somehow in the handbook). So I dont have any advice as if they did anything wrong. Rules are at a workplace for a reason and my growth as a person didnt fit the mold of their rules and thats neither parties fault.
#RelationshipGoals As an entrepreneur growing and maintaining a successful business is a huge commitment of time and energy how do you maintain a healthy relationship/marriage?
I am a single woman who is not entertaining anyone. I am very open to a relationship but they would have to understand this crazy thing I call my life. Because I dont have any kids I work like crazy so when I decide to take that steps I can thoroughly spend time with my littles. Now, if we are talking about relationships in general, I struggle with this. I can be glued to my phone all day but never reach out to a friend or family member (for reasons that are justifiable but I also can be more available for them). In entrepreneurship there is a growth stage and sometimes that require alone time. The key is understanding when you need alone time and when you are ignoring people.
Entrepreneurship can be very stressful, it’s easy to put in a lot of abnormal hours, how do you create work/life balance and/or what do you do for “me” time or to relax?
Every 6 weeks I take a day or two and decompress. I also make my personal needs a priority. While self care isnt all about getting your hair done and going to get a pedicure, it is still VERY important to me. These things are a PRIORITY for me and apart of my ME time and relaxation time. Having my hair, toes, and eyebrows done makes me feel renewed and thats how I maintain balance. I also merge work and play. My favorite place in the world is my nutrition club. So while I am there to work I also go there to unwind. My favorite moments is sitting in my empty club, on the couch, reading a book and sipping hot tea.
What is the DREAM or ultimate goal for your business?
My DREAM and ultimate goal is to be financially free. Money solves most problems. and it also buys you time. Need more time? Hire a house cleaner, BOOM you just freed up two hours to do something else and something you love. I am someone who talks about money often and being an entrepreneur and making limitless amounts of money will buy me the option to create and design life on my terms and exactly the way I want it.
What advice would you give someone transitioning into entrepreneurship?
Take your time. Don’t rush the process. Use your job to fund your dream as long as you can but at the same time don’t wait too long. Don’t stay stuck because youre scared. Don’t move slow out of fear. Being an entrepreneur takes faith and wise decisions. That combo will open doors beyond your wildest dreams.
What tools do you use to manage your business or stay organized? ie..calendar, apps, softwares, etc..
I’m old school so pen, paper and journals are my go tos. I still use a paper planner. Extremely important events (mostly things like ticketed events and flights) go in my calendar on my Iphone so I get a notification. I keep a “running list” in my planner and cross off things as I get them done. Most times I have things I need to do on a monthly basis then I break those things down into weekly projects then daily assignments. The company I partner with has a database I am able to keep clients contact info in and I keep a sheet that was created by my leadership team with my clients info and the products they have ordered from me so I know how to follow up with them. I use outlook for email and Square for a lot of my processing. Square now has a debit card attached to you account so bye bye processing fees!
What tip can you give fellow entrepreneurs to avoid burnout?
I learned from another entrepreneur so its only right that I pay it forward: “It’s okay to slow down to speed up”. I’m in a season of my entrepreneurship journey where my production is lower than normal however the things that I am working on now will excel my business beyond what I can imagine. I also took time off to work on a project near and dear to my heart. While working on this project I didnt earn one penny from it—I actually invested in this—-BUT it brought pure joy to my soul and thats what matters most sometimes. I’ll never be one of those people who act as if money doesnt make the world go round because it does but its okay to step away from the grind when needed (sidenote: its okay to grind, dont let these new age coaches tell you otherwise *rolls eye emoji* lol).
BonusTip#: Give your own tip or advice to a fellow entrepreneur that has worked well for you.
My signature on my email is “Remember in ALL things Be You”. This is vital in entrepreneurship. People can spot a fake in a heartbeat. Being You is what makes you attractive and make people want to work with you. Also understand that you arent for everyone. As my Grandma Jean would say “You aint everybody’s cup of tea” and thats okay. You dont have to work with everyone and no one has to work with you. Every relationship you build is on purpose and meant to be (no matter what the relationship teaches you). Value those you GET to work with and dont be tied to the outcome of those you dont get to work with.
I know they teach you “slow and steady wins the race” and in some scenarios thats true. To me that phrase represents patience but please understand flying high and moving fast is FUN and it doesnt make you any less humble because you didnt take all day to go after your dreams.
KeeKee, we celebrate you for bossing up and taking charge of your life and destiny. Thank you for having the courage to step out on faith and create your own path!